With only a few weeks left until the abyss that is the offseason begins, many now find themselves eliminated from the competition; with a ranking sliding further and further each week; and cursing every single negative turn of the DT Gods (which seems to be pretty much everywhere at the moment). For those that are still kicking or loyal enough to DTT to still be reading this – we thank you for your patronage and look forward to a huge culmination to this bastard of a year for Dream Teamer Coaches.
With Round 23 in sight, let’s thrash out this weeks’ Numbers…
0 – Amount of marks taken between Collingwood’s ‘Twin Towers’ Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes on Saturday night against North. Whilst the Kangaroos’ defence has to take some credit, they must have some serious issues going on with their form lacking or non-existent going into the most important time of year. If both continue their poor run of form come finals, Collingwood will not make it to the prelims. There’s only so far Swan, Pendles and Beams can take a team.
2 – There have been many great upsets this year in the AFL, with North Melbourne and Brisbane featuring on the list several times already. However Round 21 saw these two clubs claim some huge scalps as we look towards finals footy. Whilst not in the running for the top 8, Brisbane still round enough to run down Adelaide in a fierce attempt to prove themselves against a top 2 fancied side. After being 38 points ahead at one stage, the Crows failed to fly as they were ran down and slain by the Lions. The Kangaroos on the other hand are marching towards September as they downed their third big scalp of 2012, seeing off Collingwood after previously toppling Geelong and Adelaide. If Brad Scott can keep his men focused and confident – they could very well make a big impact in the finals series and go deep into the most important month of footy for the year.
16 – Number of times that Dons’ captain fantastic Jobe Watson has tonned it up in season 2012. After a run of 5 consecutive 108+ scores, the man favoured for the Brownlow still managed to tally a solid 29 possessions as he fell just shy of another hundred with 98 points. Having his best year by DT standard by more than 15 points per game, he’s nothing if not deserving of the award. With Cotchin from the Tigers and Beams from the Pies’ also a sniff, Jobe will leave nothing in the tank as he hopes to prove himself better than the above two in his last few games against… you guessed it – the Tigers and Pies.
47 – The new record for most touches in a single game by a Bulldogs’ player in their history. This honour now sits with Ryan Griffen. At times he seemed to be finding the ball at will as if there were two balls out there – one for Griff and one for everyone else. And it wasn’t just ‘cheapies’ either – he gathered 22 contested disposals and eight clearances to be one of the best (if not the best) on ground in a team that was flogged by top-of-the-table Sydney. As with many top midfielders, this is what happens when you let them run free.
67 – % chance that assistant coach gives Dane Swan of passing him breakeven. For anyone else the number would be far lower, but for Swannie – 132 is nearly a sure-thing. With 132 and 161 against West Coast in 2 of the last 3 v the Eagles; and an avg of 118.50 at Patersons, I’m locking in the fantasy pig to bounce back strong and smash it this week. I’m sure Calvin will agree – there has never been a surer time to have the C on Swannie.
109 – There is something weird going on with this number and its connection to Freo ball-magnet Michael Barlow. Since R3, Barlow has been as consistent as any in 2012. Whilst he has a sub-100 avg, he has cracked the tonne 13 times this season, with 12 of those between 100 and 109. Whilst he hasn’t gone huge this year at all, his ability to just manage to scrape over the hundred mark is eerie – with 109 his favourite figure. He’s managed to finish on 109 points five times in 2012!
132 – True to my form in 2012, I was one who held onto my boy Bryce Gibbs a little too long this year. After averaging less than 90 up to these last few weeks, he’s exploded (finally) – averaging 132 over the past 3 weeks. Indicative of my year personally, I finally gave up and traded him out a few weeks prior to this form turnaround for… Dane Swan. Whilst the 2 weeks following this decision was proving me correct, it’s now backfired with Swannie sitting out the last 2 whilst watching Gibbs go on a spree. With Gold Coast on the cards this week, I’m expecting yet another 130+ from the on-again-off-again Blues’ midfielder this week.
167 – After starting out being a reasonable competitive match, the Bulldogs suffered yet another big loss – this time against a rampant Sydney outfit hell-bent on the minor premiership. After only being 14 points up at half time, the Swans went on a rampage in the last quarter to tally their highest score in the past 5 years of 26.11.167 and put away any doubt that they’re not a serious flag contender this year.
430 – Combined games played by soon to be announced retired Bulldogs’ pair Ryan Hargrave and Lindsay Gilbee. Both players’ careers have been remarkably aligned from start to finish – with only two games separating them and only 18 days of age. When it comes to DT output over their careers though (which is really all that matters, let’s be honest) it’s Gilbee who takes the cake with an average of 71.8 to Hargrave’s 62.6. Maybe if Hargrave didn’t let his coaches down so much this year I’d care more, but I think the Dogs’ are well placed with their youth to not miss them too much.
20,000 – Estimated number (likely more) of angry Tigers’ fans and Jon Griffin owners alike who were ropable as at the bounce of the Freo/Richmond game on Saturday when shifty Coach Ross Lyon pulled the wool out from the world’s eyes by doing a late switcheroo, with Griffin out with the mythical completely understandable ‘soreness’. With the Big 211 Aaron Sandilands coming in to make a positive impact in their 22 point win over the yellow & black, many (Hardwick included) were baffled and annoyed at yet another selection sting that from the mouth of the Richmond Coach, isn’t in the spirit of the game. At least Hawthorn had a slightly more creative answer for Buddy pulling out.
Send me your ‘Numbers’ for the week @McRathDT
Whore of the Week
While little Gary was busy against the Hawks on Sunday afternoon, another champion pumped out some big numbers of his own against the flailing Bombers team now out of the running for finals action. After a year filled with injury, high expectation and extra attention, Marc Murphy finally had the game we’ve all been waiting for. His 37 touches, 9 marks and 2 goals against Essendon gave him a game high 163 points in a team that won by 96 at the MCG. With the chance of the 8 still alive in the Blues’ players and faithful alike, this man will have a huge impact on the final resting place of Carlton in the ladder for 2012.
The Round Up
Highlights – Seeing the Blues up, about and healthy was a great sign from a biased Carlton supporter; Ablett’s 110 to half-time against the Hawks made me nervous (as I don’t have him) and settled for a lazy 175 points by the final siren; Seeing the two upsets (courtesy of the Lions & North) was great to see, with the flag still well and truly up in the air.
Lowlights – 2012 keeps going from bad to worse for Travis Cloke as he put in another bad performance to show just how far he’s fallen from last year’s heights; Mitchell and Buddy’s late withdrawals put an end to me in 2 of my leagues alone, however I can’t say it wasn’t predictable – Hawthorn and the ‘General’ are surely in cahoots as they did the same this time last year v Suns. 2013 could well see people shying away from ageing stars for this very reason – which actually makes me a bit miserable that this is what’s coming to the world.
Team McRath – 2 donuts from lack of cover, no trades and late withdrawals had me shrugging my shoulders all of Sunday as I watched my season get even farther out of reach. I am in two prelims this weekend though, so pending selections I may still actually be a chance to reach a grand final (god only knows how).
That’s it – are you playing in a prelim this weekend? Or wallowing in your Mad Monday blues? If there’s one thing that makes me happy amongst all the rubble in this year’s DT, it’s looking forward to 2013 and the potential picks that will be bursting for us to pick them. Who’ll get DPP, who’ll break out? These questions and more will be revealed as we peek into the future of AFL Dream Team for 2013 over the offseason.
On a side note, if you didn’t watch Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War last night – go do yourself a favour and go back and watch it. It was Australian Television at its best with outstanding acting performances from some great actors. Funniest moment of the night? Realising ‘Rhonda’ has finally made the step from Ads to prime time TV – #Rhonda was even trending on twitter! Gold.
Get your Twitter on and hit me up @McRathDT